What Bar Soap Can Do for Your Skin

Bar soaps are continually perceived as being unhygienic and for no good reason. The fact is, no research or studies have officially linked the product to uncleanliness or health risk. Unfortunately, this common perception has led many to make the misinformed switch to liquid soap, a more expensive option that contains more chemicals.

The reality is that bar soap is no longer just made up of fat and alkali, its two main ingredients. Nowadays, skincare brands incorporate PH balancing, nourishing, cleansing and moisturizing ingredients into their products for maximum benefit.

There is a wide range of organic, nutrient-rich bar soaps on the market that can work wonders for your skin – you just need to find the right one for you. This underrated beauty product gets a bad rap time and time again, when the reality is that it can work wonders for your skin:

Boosts Circulation & Cell Growth

Bar soaps with natural botanicals like grapeseed oil can help to freshen your dull complexion by boosting circulation and cell growth. These properties leave your face soft and smooth for a youthful glow. Soaps packed with cell growth and circulation-boosting ingredients like Erno Lazlo soaps deliver results that you and your skin will love.

Cleans Your Body of Bacteria

Dirt and other bacteria collect on your body throughout the day and, if not washed off effectively, can build up start to irritate the skin in the form of rashes and acne. Bar soap cleans your body of dirt and other bacteria through its surfactants that dissolve dirt and oil. Despite common thought, studies show that this soap is highly unlikely to transfer any bacteria it collects in the cleaning process.

Exfoliates Your Skin

The surfactants in soap have natural exfoliating properties that remove dead skin cells from the skin’s outer layer (also known as the epidermis). That said, there are tons of soaps on the market that are specifically formulated to exfoliate your skin. 

Exfoliating helps to keep your skin smooth and free of dead skin cells that can make your complexion dull.

Balances Your Skin’s Oil Production

There are bar soap products geared towards those with acne-prone skin that can help to reduce oil production. These products are formulated with palm oils, as these oils help to regulate the skin’s oil production.

Hydrating Properties

There are many bar soap products with hydrating ingredients; you just need to know which ingredients to look for. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, oils and types of butter are commonly used in these soap products due to their impressive moisturizing capabilities that help keep your complexion smooth and soft.

Detoxify

As the years pass, your body takes longer to naturally filter out skin impurities— which is why many opt for detoxifying products to speed up the process. 

When you detoxify your skin, you break down any build-up of dirt, reduce acne, and give your complexion a healthier glow. There are many bar soaps on the market that contain detoxifying ingredients like charcoal, sea salt, clay, and coconut oil.

It’s time to re-evaluate the misleading information you’ve been fed about soaps over the years because, nowadays, bar soaps are far superior.

Most skincare brands have removed questionable ingredients from their formulas and are instead formulating their products with a wealth of nourishing ingredients with properties to help you maintain your natural glow.

Must-have And Must-avoid Foods For Diabetes

As per the American Diabetes Association, around 9.4%, which is 30.3 million Americans were diagnosed with diabetes in 2015. Such whopping numbers are scary, but diabetes can be controlled naturally with a few additions and subtractions in your diet. Here are three healthy, must-have foods and three must-avoid foods that you should include in your meals to keep diabetes at bay. Read on!

Healthy foods for diabetes

1.    Whole grains

Doctors suggest that high levels of fiber help in keeping diabetes under check. Whole grains contain refined white grains and higher nutrient levels. It is observed that consuming foods that are high in fiber is beneficial for those with diabetes, as it is known to slow down the process of digestion. Absorption of nutrients by the body at a slower pace helps in keeping the levels of blood sugar stable. When compared with rice and white bread, whole grains and whole wheat contain lower levels of the glycemic index. This means that whole grains have positive effects when it comes to controlling the blood sugar levels.

Some of the best examples of whole grains in your food are:

  • Buckwheat
  • Whole grain bread
  • Brown rice
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Rye
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Bulgur

It is best if you can switch white pasta or white bread with options that contain whole grains.

2.    Blueberries

Did you know blueberries were known as the powerhouse of antioxidants? They are filled with fiber, and vitamin C. Blueberries also contain high levels of antioxidants as compared to vegetables and fruits. It also helps in reducing the risks of cancer and heart conditions. Moreover, blueberries contain anti-inflammatory properties. Along with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are significant dietary measures to keep the diabetics in control naturally.

As per the American Diabetes Association, blackberries are superfoods that help in controlling high blood sugar levels. They are also high in fiber and vitamins. You can add three-quarters of a cup of fresh blueberries or strawberries, preferably any superfood berry of your choice, to non-fat yogurt. This can be a great addition to your breakfast.

3.    Fatty acids and Omega-3 acids

One of the best healthy foods to add to your diet for controlling diabetes is wild salmon. It contains omega-3 acids and also helps in lowering the risk of heart disease. Fish is packed with proteins but does not have carbohydrates. That is why they do not increase the levels of blood sugar. Consuming salmon helps in slowing down the process of digestion and also keeps you full.

Moreover, wild salmon also contains selenium and vitamin D, which keeps your nails, hair, skin, and bones healthy. Some of the other types of fish that you can include in your healthy diet are sardines, herring, and mackerel.

Foods to avoid in diabetes

1.    Trans fat

Foods such as peanut butter, margarine, creamers, and frozen dinners contain industrial trans fats that are incredibly unhealthy. Moreover, you can also find these in muffins, crackers, and baked foods.

Trans fats do not raise the levels of blood sugar directly, but they are associated with insulin resistance, a rise in inflammation, and lower levels of HDL cholesterol. These side effects are alarming for those who already have higher blood sugar levels.

 

However, trans fats are no longer in use in most of the countries as a part of the packaged foods. But, in case you do not know how to spot them, avoid the food items that have “partially hydrogenated” ingredients written in the packaging.

2.    Sugar-sweetened drinks

One of the worst foods that should be avoided entirely is sugary drinks or packaged drinks. They contain high levels of carbohydrates. Did you know sweetened iced tea also has 36 grams of carbs? Also, sugar-sweetened beverages are packed with fructose that may alter the metabolism of the body and lead to high levels of triglyceride levels and belly fat.

A recently conducted study process that consumption of 25% calories alone from such artificially-sweetened drinks can worsen heart health, increase the resistance to insulin, and lowers the metabolism rate. So, it is best to consume water and unsweetened iced tea and stop any drink that contains artificial sugar.

All in all, consuming sugar-sweetened drinks increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes and, therefore, should be kept at bay.

 

3.    Dried fruits

We know that fruits contain numerous minerals and vitamins. But when dried, there is water loss and increases the levels of these nutrients. This the reason, the sugar content is highly concentrated, which is terrible for those with diabetes. For instance, carbohydrates content in raisins is three times that of grapes.

So, if you want to keep your blood sugar levels stable, you do not have to skip fruits entirely. You need to stick to fruits that have lower levels of sugar, such as fresh berries.

Reference Links

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279012/

https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/eat-well.html

https://www.diabetes.org/resources/statistics/statistics-about-diabetes

 

5 Major Benefits of Using CBD Oil

When it comes to our health, state of mind, and quality of life, we could all do with a helping hand from time to time. With the pace of life that many of us live these days, it is all too easy to neglect your health and wellbeing and this can be the start of a downward spiral. Fortunately, there are products you can turn to, one of which is CBD oil.

Over the past couple of years, CBD oil has gained huge popularity and you can find some of the best CBD oil products available online. This makes it easy and convenient to start enjoying the variety of benefits the product can offer, some of which are outlined below. You can also choose from a wide range of products, including the best vaporizer for your needs, drops and tinctures, edibles, and CBD capsules to name but a few.

 

What Are the Key Benefits?

question mark

There are plenty of benefits you will be able to look forward to when you use CBD oil products, and this explains why CBD oil has become so popular. Some of the major benefits you can enjoy include:

 

You Can Enjoy Better Sleep

Many people underestimate the importance of sleep, but it is vital that you regularly get a good night’s sleep for many reasons. The amount of sleep, as well as the quality, can have an impact on your state of mind, mental and physical wellbeing, and even on your appearance. However, many people do struggle when it comes to getting proper sleep, which can pose a big problem.

One of the key benefits of CBD oil is that is can help to boost serotonin levels. In addition to lifting your mood and regulating your appetite, serotonin is a chemical that helps to regulate your sleep patterns. So, in effect, using CBD oil can help to regulate your sleep and give you a proper night’s rest. This, in turn, can have a positive impact on your overall wellbeing and your quality of life.

 

You Feel Less Stressed

Stress is something that most people experience these days, but some suffer from higher stress levels and on a more regular basis. When you feel stressed all the time, it can have a negative effect on your life in many different ways. It can take its toll on your physical and mental wellbeing and can affect your work, relationships, focus levels, and more.

CBD oil is able to help relieve stress and lift your mood, again due to its ability to help boost serotonin levels. Whatever the cause of your stress, you can benefit from using CBD oil because it has proven very effective in helping to relieve the symptoms of stress. This is another of its key benefits.

 

You Can Boost Your Energy

Many people lack energy, and this can be due to their diet, lifestyle, sleep patterns, and health among other things. When you continually feel tired and drained, it can be a real challenge to get on with day to day tasks or be productive while at work. You definitely cannot make the most of life when your energy levels are through the floor.

When taken in smaller doses during the day, CBD oil is able to boost your energy levels, which means you can get on with your day and enjoy being far more productive. This can be hugely beneficial for those with busy schedules as well as those that take part in activities such as sports. Boosting energy marks yet another vital benefit that comes with using CBD oil.

 

You Will Find Relaxation Easier

Do you struggle when it comes to switching off, winding down, and relaxing? If so, don’t worry, as many people have this problem. Some people simply cannot give their minds a rest and are constantly worrying and thinking about things rather than just switching off and relaxing. This can eventually take its toll when it comes to your health, as we all need to take time out to relax the body and the mind.

When you use CBD oil, you will find relaxation far easier, as it can help you to switch off and stop worrying by lifting your mood and reducing your stress levels. This means you can give your mind a well-earned break.

 

You Can Reduce Pain

People experience pain and inflammation for various reasons, such as injuries or an ongoing health condition. As any sufferer will know, it can have a serious impact on life because it can be debilitating at times.

With CBD oil, you can benefit from a reduction in pain and inflammation, which means you will find it much easier to relax and get on with your day. CBD oil has proven to be very effective in this respect, with some believing it will become the basis of the next generation of painkillers.

 

Improve Your Life Quality

With the many benefits that you get from using CBD oil, you can look forward to improving your life quality. All you need to do is find the right CBD oil product for you, and you can then start looking forward to experiencing the benefits for yourself.

Need a New Year’s Resolution? Here’s a List of the 9 Best Healthy Ideas

The new year is just around the corner which is an exciting time to start fresh and focus on new beginnings. Making certain commitments and goals for the next year should be something you must look forward to, hence we have listed here a few resolutions for you to choose from;

1. Exercise Mindful Eating

Most of us have the habit of eating while watching TV or other distractions and we tend to overeat. Overeating also happens when we enjoy food a lot and gulp down more than required. Remember that any food that you eat after you feel full is just a waste which will only spoil your health hence avoid overeating.

2. Take Adequate Rest

You must be knowing the importance of sleep but still, most people do not sleep timely due to various distractions such as watching videos on the phone which means your body is not getting enough rest to function right hence start sleeping timely and adequately.

3. Embrace an Attitude of Gratitude

Take some time out every day to reflect on what you are grateful for today. Checking this every day is going to help you learn to embrace the attitude of being thankful for what you have which brings positivity in life.

4. Walk 30 Minutes Every day

Apart from mental health, you also need to take care of your physical health hence make it a habit to walk at least 30 minutes every day. Such short commitments will make sure that you follow it every day.

5. Try to take the Stairs

Making small changes every day will bring a big difference, hence start from something as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator and this will benefit your health in the long run.

6. Maintain Hygiene

To maintain good overall health, it is important that your surroundings are neat and clean which means that you need to start cleaning and decluttering your house so that you do not fall sick due to any infestations or mold problems. Get exterminators to spray the required medicine to eliminate such infestations and also make sure that you clean the molds which may affect you and your family’s health. Use respirator masks for mold cleaning as molds are known to release a low level of volatile organic compounds that affects the health badly, hence take the required precautions while dealing with it.

7. Cut Stress Out

Stress is inevitable in today’s world but too much stress can cause serious damage to your mental health, hence you need to take things lightly and deal with stress then and there instead of letting it grow more into depression. Get help as soon as you can to eliminate the source of stress to stop it from growing further.

8. Stay in Touch

Growing your social bong is necessary as we are humans who crave to be around others who care for us hence this year, focus on giving more time to your family and friends instead of fixating on your mobile.

9. Travel More

All work and no break is not good for anyone, hence making it a point to take vacations at an interval of every 3-4 months to rejuvenate yourself and experience new places in your life is important.

It happens many times that people break their resolutions owing to certain other burning commitments and situations but even if that happens, take some break from your resolution and finish off the other tasks which are your priority and once that’s done, do not forget to resume the promise you made to yourself as it does not matter if are unable to follow it 365 days but trying to stick to the resolution as much as you can is what the new year’s spirit is about.

Finding The Right Balance Between Caregiver Role And Need Of Patients

It is essential that you find the right balance if you are supporting the older patients so that you can meet their demands as well as accomplish your goal through your role as a caregiver. However, finding a balance is not an easy task, especially when you are overwhelmed and stressed out.

As a caregiver, you must address your stress, fatigue, emotion, and physical conditions because if you do not then all these will take a serious toll on your physical as well as mental health. It will also affect other areas such as:

  • Your self-esteem
  • Your personal and client relationships
  • Your mood and 
  • Your overall well-being

If you are burned out and stress you will not be able to take care of yourself, leave alone taking care of the patients. It is for this reason that the experts suggest that you should take care of yourself properly and that means finding the right balance between your needs as well as that of your loved ones. 

Statistical figures to consider

According to some research, it is seen that though working as a caregiver is lucrative and fulfilling, it is also very stressful and needs a lot of effort and energy. The study showed that:

  • Six out of ten caregivers are also employed 
  • 56% of caregivers worked full time and
  • Work for 34.7 hours each week at the least.

You will also need to know some other caregiver stress statistics so that you can maintain a balance between the mental, physical and emotional impact. These are:

  • 1/3 of the caregivers suffer from depression
  • They have a greater mortality rate
  • The women caregivers as compared to non-caregivers are 2.5 times more likely to live in poverty while taking care of their family members and 
  • 47% of caregivers have to use most or all of their savings having no other option while taking on a caregiver role.

The new and complex care situations and high demand for Home care jobs ideally force many caregivers to experience increased strain and stress resulting in several conditions such as:

  • Finding it more difficult to perform their Activities of Daily Living
  • Face issues in coordinating care
  • Finding it challenging to attain affordable and proper care services for the receiver and
  • Having an increased likelihood of poor.

Therefore, if you believe that caregiving has made your health worse, do not think you are alone out there. 

Steps to create a balance

There are lots of ways in which you can create a proper balance in your life and get rid of the stress, frustration, sadness, anxiety, that will develop at some point of time. First, you will have to find some time for yourself as well as the elder patients. Adequate rest, as well as assistance from a home health aide, will make your life a lot easier and more comfortable.

In addition to that, you will also have to plan your day, care process and responsibilities well. both personal and professional.

Your personal responsibilities include:

  • Your spouse, children, and pets
  • Your work and appointments
  • Cooking, cleaning and laundry and mots more.

Your professional responsibilities include:

  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Drug management
  • Monitoring health issues and changes
  • Organizing your care plan
  • Nutrition and hygiene.

Using a daily planner and journal will help you to navigate your caregiving job as well as have a firm control on your personal life.

Managing caregiving role

The role of a caregiver is one of the hardest ones, especially if you have to look after a patient suffering from any life-threatening illness or with IPF. In most of the cases, the relationship between a caregiver and their patient in such situations can be complicated and uneasy. This is because the emotions in both are delicate and are at high levels especially during such times like:

  • A new diagnosis
  • Hospitalization 
  • Conversations regarding palliative care or life-threatening situation.

Caregiver fatigue is another reason that can affect the relationship between a patient and a caregiver. This is the time when the caregivers intentionally or unintentionally overlook or ignore their personal needs due to burnout.

Tips and suggestions

In order to maintain a perfect balance for your job and professional life, there are a few specific tips and suggestions to follow. 

  • You should work ideally as a part of a team so that you have someone to fall back on especially when you experience burnout. This will give you enough time to take rest and regain your strength so that you can continue providing the desired level of care.
  • Also, be very specific to set aside some time for yourself on a regular basis. Spend this time with your friends or social circle, pursuing your hobbies and even by pampering yourself. Be very specific about the amount of time you need for yourself and how frequently you need it as well.
  • Make sure that you know about those things that you can and cannot do with you as well as with your patient. This will allow you to avoid doing things that your constantly declining physical health does not allow. 

 In such situations, do not shy away from voicing the tasks that you cannot do to your agency owner as well as the patient. A fruitful solution may be designed when you pre-establish the caregiver tasks that you cannot d. this will give other people enough time to plan for an alternative and be proactive rather than reactive when the situation arises.

Few other useful tips

You must never feel guilty if you cannot perform a specific task, though this is easier said than done. Such guilt feelings will create negative energy and will not help you in any way in your caregiving process, both in the short and long run.

Also, make sure that you seek professional help and support when needed so that you do not have the feeling that your management skills are falling apart as a caregiver.

Remember, there is no guidebook or manual for caregiving and everything is done on a need-to-do basis. Therefore, you should be well prepared to meet such demands.

Diet Plans – Nutrition Guide for Different Types of Sports

Almost all athletes need the same nutrition plan where they eat more protein for bigger and stronger muscles and carbohydrates for a supply of energy. However, there are some variations depending on the type of sport someone is undertaking.

Health and fitness experts have come up with different types of nutrition plans to suit a variety of sports. If you are wondering what is best for you, then this article is for you.

Footballer

With a need for speed and muscle gain, these athletes engage in detailed training. They have the goal of gaining more muscles, mobility and losing fat as well. Thus, they need a diet plan that will support this adequately. They need more protein dishes like meat, dairy products, and legumes. Carbohydrates are needed to supply enough energy for training while vitamins and minerals are needed in an adequate amount to support other body functions.

Runner

Running is an endurance sport that requires a lot of energy. A runner will be burning energy constantly as long as they are on the track. Some of them run for many hours a week and they need enough carbohydrates to support this. They also need minerals like potassium and calcium in abundance to support their metabolism and increase bone density for support. Protein can be eaten at average levels to support cell recovery rather than muscle growth.

Bodybuilding

Bodybuilders who are in it as a career participates in numerous tournaments and their dream is to win each one of them. Their goal is to have bigger muscles and lose as much body fat as possible. Thus, their carb intake should be relatively low, but they should never be omitted. What they eat in large amounts is protein both for muscle gain and repair. Many of them also tend to take supplements, and they use websites like steroids-evolution.net as their source.

Volleyball Players

Volleyball is a game of hands, and the players need strong arms, shoulders, and hips with a lot of mobility. These players are highly engaged in gym exercises like bench presses, rowing, and gym ball workouts, among many others. They need both carbs and protein in a balanced way. Thus, their main diet will be whole grains, meat products, and dairy products. Both vitamins and minerals are also needed to support other body functions. This makes vegetables and fruits an important part of the diet.

Swimmer

Many people enjoy swimming for leisure, but there are many who do it as a sport. They are always in the water practicing, and this requires a supportive diet plan. Swimming engages the entire body, and it is considered as an excellent cardio workout. For full-time swimmers, energy is key. Thus, whole grains, pasta, and rice should appear in your diet plan at all times. For stronger muscles, protein-rich foods should be included as well.

Final Word

As you can see, the nutrition plans are almost the same in all sports, but with small variations. The key players in the diet are carbs for energy and protein for stronger muscles. All athletes need to stay hydrated well by drinking enough water throughout the day. Other beverages like fresh fruit juices and shakes supply nutrients to the body, too.

Functional Medicine Helps People Be And Feel Their Best

There’s a time when we have to undergo several medical tests! It might include everything from the X-rays, blood tests to various diagnostic tests. And when it comes to the outcome, you might find that every medical examination is routine. And yet, your body doesn’t feel the same.

You feel that your mind and body is suffering from something! Such a situation is not uncommon in any way. Do you resonate with this? And are you also wondering the reason for the same? It is because modern-day healthcare has focused long on treating chronic ailments such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. However, today, it is considering treating other conditions like autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and heart ailments.  It is here that functional medicine has a huge role to play.

Understanding functional medicine

Simply put, functional medicine is an entirely new way of addressing and treating health conditions. It resorts to a very different method for managing and averting complex ailments. It helps to treat the whole human body, instead of suppressing just a few symptoms. The functional medicine addresses the cause and not the sign. And these causes can stem from multiple aspects of life. To know more about this, you can check out Active Edge Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Columbus.

How does functional medicine work?

The expert functional medicine doctors devote time to their patients! They discuss not just medical symptoms that a patient witness, but also the other patterns, diet choices, exercise habits, traumas, toxin exposure as well as lifestyle patterns. After this, they try and address the root causes of the ailments. It comprises of looking as factors that can affect the patient’s body functions. These include the following:

1.     The genetic make-up

Here the lifestyle choice of the patient is essential. The functional medicine doctor analyses the stress levels, activity, and diet chart.

2.     Environmental impacts

It mostly includes the toxin exposure that one witnesses. It is essential to tap into the root cause of all diseases. Functional medicine acts as the map to detect what caused an infection. A single ailment can result from one or more imbalances in the body and mind. Functional medicine doctors consider the essential role of the mind in both creating and healing the physical ailment. It applies to problems like excess weight gain, digestive issues, inflammation, and many more. Environmental toxins can lead to such issues.

Reasons to opt-in for functional medicine

If you have visited a doctor and felt no better, it’s better to try out functional medicine. Patients suffering from various physical discomforts benefit from functional medicine. It includes the following:

  • Cardio-metabolic conditions, which provide for heart ailments, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
  • Digestive issues such as chronic pancreatitis, ulcers, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, and many more.
  • Psychiatric and neurological conditions like migraine headaches, attention deficit disorders, and depression.
  • Skin disorders like eczema, acne and psoriasis.
  • Autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease, lumps and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Hormonal issues like menopause, chronic fatigue, and thyroid conditions.

Once you address what created the physical condition with the functional medicine approach, the cure is easy! It is the reason why most people find their best health and wellness with this treatment modality. To learn more please visit https://columbuschiropractors.com/

 

 

 

Best Health Food Blogs to Follow

Healthy food is one of the most important things that should be on your list of daily routines.  Healthy Food makes it easy and enjoyable to eat well and feel great. Healthy living is all about a holistic and balanced approach. Get all necessary information from the blogs we chose you should follow for the best advice to help you live your best life.

1. Food and Health

Food and health are closely related. It’s very important to make healthy choices when we eat every day. All we eat today may come in handy in the future. Making balanced meals not only contributes to the body’s well-being but also helps to ward off diseases and medicines, making the best of everyday life.

2. DIY Home & Garden

DIY Home & Garden started in 2016 and they’ve been growing ever since! They have a local American feel with an international audience. While 80% of their readers are American, they now enjoy traffic from over 90 nations. They adore cooking and baking, and consider home-cooking DIY. They often share original recipes as well as family favorites. There are very few restaurants in the very rural area of North Carolina that they call home, so they cook at home more often than not. In this article, you can read about Recipe for  Chocolate Protein Booster.

Winning Eco-Solutions for Our Homes

Globally, builders, developers, and professional remodelers of family homes are offering more green options than ever before.

Interestingly, the start of this growth can be traced back a decade, to 2009, when the global recession in the residential construction market was at a very low ebb. One conceivable explanation researchers have found is that builders started to use the advantages of green building to attract buyers at a time when the market was exceptionally sluggish.

According to a SmartMarket report by the Massachusetts-based McGraw Hill Construction company, that discusses the growth of green multi- and single-family homes in a “recovering market,” the three primary triggers were:

  1. Continued increases in energy costs.
  2. Changes in code ordinances and building regulations including the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Code Council (ICC) 700 National Green Building Standard which is approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
  3. Increasing availability and affordability of “green” products.

Additionally, various government and utility incentives placed an important role too. Unfortunately, many of these have been, or are being, phased out.

Statistics provided in the report show a phenomenal increase in green building projects. While builders that undertake very few (less than 16%) single-family home projects decreased progressively from 63% in 2011, 38% in 2013, 23% in 2015, to an anticipated 16% in 2018, those boasting that more than 90% of their projects were green rose from 12% in 2011 to 19% in 2013, 24% in 2015, to a projected 38% in 2018. The figures were similar for multi-family projects: from 69% in 2011, 46% two years later, to a consistent 21% from 2015-2018. Not as many boasted that more than 90% of their projects were green though a similar trend is evident. While there were only 6% in 2011 and 2013, this increased to 9% in 2015 and was expected to double to 18% in 2018.

Similarly, those firms undertaking remodeling projects, of which at least 90% of which were green increased from 7% in 2011 to 25% in 2018. Those admitting that less than 16% of their remodeling projects were green decreased from 70% in 2011 to 21% in 2018.

So what do builders and remodelers do to make homes green?

Eco-Solutions for Family Homes

Around 95% of builders and remodelers regard energy-efficiency as the most important element of green homes. Other important green practices that provide eco-friendly solutions include:

  • Durability of materials
  • Water efficiency that incorporates more water conservation products and practices
  • The use of materials that emit low volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Improved quality of indoor air
  • Management and reduction of construction waste and a focus on material conservation and recycling
  • Eco-friendly site planning and development with a focus on environmental sensitivity

The motivation for opting for eco-solutions varies, with the promise of long-term utility cost savings remaining the most powerful argument for going green. Operating efficiency is also a priority, followed by a belief that quality construction, along with durability and the need for reduced maintenance, is associated with so-called green features. Homeowners also consider high performance and sustainability important and, to a lesser extent, the fact that an eco-friendly home will have a reduced environmental impact.

Professionals play an important role in terms of identifying which green products, practices, and features are best for purpose and location. This includes builders, architects, and those providing engineering solutions in Chicago, New York, London, Paris, Moscow, or whichever city you live in or are near to.

Green Products, Practices, and Features

There are so many ways to ensure that our homes are eco-friendly. These are some of the winning solutions for new homes and renovations:

  • Ensure your house is energy-efficient in every possible way
    Switch to high-efficiency water heater and heating, air-conditioning, and cooling (HVAC) systems that are correctly sized and properly installed. Make sure all lighting and appliances are energy efficient. Insulation should exceed code minimums and windows should exceed code-mandated performance. Opt for above-code energy programs and passive solar design.
  • Do everything possible to conserve materials and resources
    While there are different priorities for new homes versus those being renovated, there is definite value in using more durable materials as well as recycled products or materials that are easily recycled. This is particularly true for homes that are being remodeled. The use of prefabricated components and engineered wood is gaining significant attention and interest as is the use of lumber that is certified to have been sustainably harvested.
  • Put systems in place that will enable you to conserve water
    The ability to conserve water comes from installing appliances and fixtures that are designed for this purpose. Efficient plumbing techniques also help a great deal. Look for WaterSense labels and harvest rainwater if you can.
  • Aim for the very best indoor environmental quality possible
    There are many products and practices that will improve the indoor environmental quality of your home from filtration and air-cleaning systems and low-VOC materials (including paint, synthetic fibers, wood finishing products, and cabinetry that contains formaldehyde) to systems that increase moisture control and ventilation. A company that offers mechanical engineering services in Chicago or wherever you live will be able to assist with the latter.

There is little doubt that the challenges of finding appropriate eco-solutions for your home will be easier if you work with a professional, there is certainly a lot that each and every one of us can do ourselves. It simply requires commitment.

About the author

Michael Tobias is the founder and principal of New York Engineers, an Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Company in America. He leads a team of 30+ mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineers from the company headquarters in New York City, and has led more than 1,000 projects in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, and California, as well as Singapore and Malaysia. He is passionate about sustainability and renewable energy.

5 Best Practices to Avoid Relapse After Recovery

If you are back from a drug treatment program it is important for you to know how to avoid a relapse. There are very few people who do not relapse after rehab; most others do. The article lists a few steps which you can take to avoid a relapse.

Drugs and alcohol rehab is an ongoing process, and completing a treatment program is only the first step towards complete recovery. Very few people never relapse after rehab; most others don’t have that same experience. 

If you are back from a drug treatment program you need to know how to avoid a relapse.

Here are 5 best practices to avoid relapse after recovery:

1. Avoid Triggering Situations

A host of things can act as a trigger. For example:

  • Withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, nausea, physical weakness, mood swings, poor sleep
  • Poor self-care leading to stress, and eating and sleeping disorders
  • People, places, and things that remind you of your old habits like friends who are addicted, bars, clubs, certain areas of a college campus, etc. 
  • Uncomfortable emotions like hunger, loneliness, exhaustion, anger, etc.  
  • Relationships and sex 
  • Isolation 

It becomes important to avoid all these triggers, especially in the early stages of recovery when temptations are often strong.

2. Get Rid Of Toxic People

Once you’ve decided to give up on drugs or alcohol, you need to change your day to day life. The first step in this direction would be to get rid of the toxic people in your life. Spending time with people who are addicted is not going to help and you may not succeed in giving up on addiction. 

Surround yourself with people who would support you to live a substance-free lifestyle. Whenever you have an urge to use, call a friend or someone in recovery. Just talking to them about your urge going through would do the magic.

You will see that the minute you start to talk about your feelings your urges begin to disappear. 

3. Stay In Therapy

It is important to continue with your therapy and attend group meetings for at least a year or two after getting sober. This will provide you the much needed coping mechanisms to maintain sobriety.

4. Do Not Give Up Your Medicines

Psychological disorders like anxiety, depression, anger, mood swings, etc are major factors leading to the use of drugs and alcohol. Most rehab programs prescribe medicines to control the symptoms of these diseases.  However, just a disappearance of symptoms does not mean that you are cured. So, continue taking your medicines throughout the recovery period as suggested by your therapist at the drug rehabilitation center.

5. Practice self-care

The most important thing that you can do to prevent relapse is to take good care of yourself. Most people take to addiction as a way to escape or relax. You relapse when you don’t take care of yourself and create situations that are mentally and emotionally draining which makes you want to escape.

For example, if you don’t take care of your eating and sleep habits, you may feel tired and try to escape. But if you take care to eat nutritious food and sleep properly you can avoid exhaustion, urge and consequent relapse.